“Kalashnikov, Russia’s legendary firearms producer, has revamped its corporate image, unveiling a new ‘CK’ red-and-black logo – not to be confused with Calvin Klein – a new slogan, three streamlined weapons brands and its own survival gear,” rt.com reports. It’s good to know that Russian oligarchs are just as susceptible to branding B.S. as Cerberus’ fat cats (e.g., Remington’s 1816 lifestyle brand). Privyet? All branding starts with the product. Build a better AK and then worry about marketing. Ready for the new slogan? In English, it’s . . .
“Protecting Peace.” How great is that? Wait! Don’t answer! Because that’s the official English language version. In Russian, the new CK [Kalashnikov Concern] slogan means “Weapons of Peace” or “Weapons of the World.” Which is even better IMHO.
Kalashnikov revamped the three brands of firearms it produces for military, civilian and sports weapons. The most famous military brand remains eponymous to the producer, but gets a new logo as well. Now Kalashnikov rifles sold to armies and police will be marked with a K, containing the distinctive image of a curved Kalashnikov rifle magazine.
“Kalashnikov is a legendary weapon known throughout the world,” said Tina Kandelaki, the TV presenter who heads the PR firm that developed Kalashnikov’s new brand. “For our country Kalashnikov is one of the national symbols. That’s why we worked on rebranding the company with pride and realization of the responsibility we took upon us.”
The concern wants to use its new brand to expand its presence on both domestic and international markets through better product recognition. In addition to firearms, it plans to sell Kalashnikov-branded survival gear, including hunting knives and outfits.
Sharp-eyed readers will know that Kalashnikov already sells knives. Well, Boker sells/sold Kalashnikov knives. But not a whole bunch, I imagine. Which was just as well; the tighter a brand’s focus, the stronger it is. No matter what Tina’s PR firm wants Kalashnikov to be, the brand stands for cheap, rugged rifles. Baikal = no frills hunting rifles. Izhmash = mag-fed shotguns. Not outfits of any kind, sort or description.
The cost of the rebranding was paid by Kalashnikov’s private shareholders, who own a 49 percent stake in the company. A controlling stake belongs to the Russian government through Rostec, a technology giant created to protect and nurture high-tech industries in the country.
“A brand is a considerable asset for any leading company, although we have a long way to go to Apple’s $100 billion brand,” Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov told RIA Novosti. “I hope Kalashnikov will become as recognized and valuable.”
That depends on whether or not they build better guns. With the Russian government in the driver’s seat, I reckon they won’t. [h/t D]